On par with the health-fueled juicing trend, Foxy Produce, the fourth-generation Nunes family company based in Salinas, California, just launched its “Rejuicenate with Foxy” campaign. Designed to publicize the taste options and health benefits of juicing fresh produce, the campaign will distribute recipe booklets in one million bags of Foxy Romaine Hearts and offer juicing demonstrations and free tastings in select grocery stores across the country. Food Dive talked with Matt Seeley, Vice President of Marketing & Brand Management, about the campaign and his personal opinion of the juicing industry.
What are some of the benefits of juicing?
Seeley explained, “We look at juicing as an opportunity to get people to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables, whatever the form a consumer prefers.” Not all juicing results in drinks. According to Seeley, it’s also possible to “transform juiced pulp into snacks and meals so that those who don’t love liquid veggies can participate and benefit.”
Juicing’s flexibility makes it work “across many different market segments.” Seeley offered the example of people who may not care for “eating a kale salad” but do want to get its health benefits. They “can combine kale and juice it with an apple, strawberries, and cucumber and have a delicious juice, or they can take the pulp from another juice recipe, mix it in with hummus, and spread it on a bagel to get a healthy and fiber-filled meal.”
What is juicing’s advantage over ready-made fruit and vegetable juices?
Seeley says that one advantage of juicing is the option to incorporate all natural flavors and nutritional benefits to your drink, resulting in a “superior taste” that is only possible in fresh produce. Seeley also says that children are drawn to the sweet taste of fruit juices, but many of them offer little in terms of nutritional boost. Juicing makes it possible to “add fresh vegetables like celery or carrots and really provide a healthy alternative,” says Seeley. For adults who may have turned to vegetable juices like V-8, Seeley says they gain “freshness and [choice of] using the entire vegetable or fruit."
Seeley says juicing also allows consumers to select exactly the type of product they want. For consumers concerned with avoiding GMO products, or insist on using organic produce, making their own fresh selections gives them full control over what they take in their juice.
Do you think it will be a bit harder to sell fresh produce in light of the recent increase in food prices?
Surprisingly enough in a climate of food inflation, in which some products have gone up as much as 500%, Seeley says, “the prices of whole vegetables like lettuce, broccoli, celery and kale are the lowest they’ve been in years.” According to him, there is actually “an oversupply of products as result of increased vegetable acreage/production and ideal-growing conditions” coming together. In fact, Seeley says prices for the last six months have been down: “It’s actually the longest period we’ve seen produce at such reduced rates in a very long time.”
What exactly does the launch involve?
There are 54 in-store juicing demos scheduled, though Seeley says that he expects the number to get higher in the next month or so: “The juicing demos will provide consumers an opportunity to learn more about juicing, the benefits associated with consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, and will teach the public fun new ways to utilize produce.”
Did you partner with diet specialists for this?
Although Foxy didn't partner with diet specialists for this launch, Seeley says, "We did utilize the services of a food and recipe development company that has dieticians on board, but we did not partner with any dietitians for marketing purposes."
Did you partner with those who make the appliances used to extract the juice?
"Not yet," Seeley says. "That could happen down the road, but for our roll-out of this campaign we want actual fresh produce to be the focal point."